County Durham manufacturer fined £150,000
3rd December 2019
SR 2019/223
16th December 2019

Water company fined £300,00

A water and wastewater company has been fined £300,000 and instructed to pay costs of £16,419 following a breach of the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997.   Three workers were carried down a sewer by a torrent of water resulting from the collapse of a 150-year-old penstock (gate).  An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that while the company had planned individual work activities, it failed to properly coordinate these as the permission and authorisation system was fragmented. The company had no effective means of collating, comparing and adapting to the impact of multiple work activities. While the workers suffered only minor physical injuries they have  required treatment for long-term traumatic stress.